Flip-flops After 50 will amuse, enlighten, and provoke readers to think about the topics that affect all of us. Who hasn’t dealt with the emotions from family events, stress from lousy jobs, or the bittersweet feelings when the kids leave home? Not to mention body image, high school reunions, and parenting. Eastman’s conversational style and easy humor tackle the sublime and the ridiculous, the sacred and the profane. After a certain age—and it’s no secret that it’s 50—Eastman argues that attitudes change for the better. Making decisions gets easier, although there’s no guarantee that life does. Even so, her writing allows us to take a look at our own issues with the reassuring handholding of a confidante.
|Publisher:||She Writes Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.60(d)|
About the Author
Cindy Eastman’s work is informed by her ability to be an observer as well as a participant in her life. With her dry sense of humor, she is able to address a variety of topical subjects and deliver an insightful analysis that’s both provocative and amusing. Currently she coordinates a supervised visitation service with her husband in his counseling practice and facilitates diversity and anti-bullying trainings for the Anti-Defamation League. She also teaches a writing course for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the Waterbury campus of UConn. Eastman makes her home in Connecticut with her husband, Angelo, and their cat. She is working on a second book when not babysitting her grandson.
Read an Excerpt
The Year of Living 50-ishly
In 2008, I joined such illustrious company as Holly Hunter, Alec Baldwin, Michelle Pfeiffer, LEGO, AARP, Alpha-Bits, the Rolodex, and Jif peanut butter. How? We all turned 50.
Turning 50 is no big deal, if you’re, say, the Interstate Highway System, which turned 50 in 2006. In fact, you should be 50 if you’re the Interstate Highway System—it gives you a certain air of respectability and responsibility. But when you’re a woman who still feels like she’s, oh, in her late thirties, it can be a little more frightening. Not scary frightening (as in not one but two terms of George Bush), just slightly frightening (as in where the hell is the how-to guide for turning 50?).
For me, approaching 50 was just plain mind-boggling. In the preceding months as I wrote journal entries and notes to myself regarding my upcoming birthday (“For my 50th birthday,” or “Can I find a new job at 50?”), I would stop and look at what I’d written, and it felt as if I was lying about my age, but in the reverse. How could I possibly be this old?
AARP knew I was turning 50 practically before I did. They started the campaign to get me into their little cult about six months earlier, sending me an application for membership and a subscription to their magazine. I guess they wanted to be sure I remembered to join. So I did. Why not? Who doesn’t want to be a member of an organization whose cover girl is Caroline Kennedy? Or whose cover boy is Kevin Costner? I’m game—count me in.
It’s not that I wasn’t ready to be 50, but not for any other reason than that it just didn’t seem right. I don’t mind aging. I don’t look or feel old. One of my vain little secrets is that I absolutely love it when I tell people how old my oldest child is and they say, “What?! You don’t look like you have a child that old!” or when the guy at the Starbucks says, “She’s your mom? I thought you were sisters!” when I stop in for coffee with Annie. (I’m sure Annie loves that one as much as I do.)
For the most part, I was okay with the whole thing. But there are intrinsic elements to turning 50 that have to be addressed. It is certainly a time for reflection and stock-taking. Reflection is okay: I feel lucky that I am in good health, that I’m living my life in a way I can be proud of, and that I have raised amazing children. I am married to a good man who also raised a wonderful daughter, and who lives his life in a mindful and generous way. My parents are healthy, and so are my brother and sister, and we all enjoy a fairly sane and loving familial relationship. My friends are few, but they’re steadfast and fun, and I can call any one of them in a pinch. (Like if I’m freaking out about turning 50. Which I’m not.) And there’s the above-mentioned looking good for my age—which doesn’t hurt. Sure, I could stand to lose a few pounds, but who couldn’t?
It’s the other thing, the stock-taking part, that I’m having the teeniest bit of trouble with. The part where I look back on my life and check and see if I’ve gotten most of the things done that I’ve always wanted to do. The answer is no. And when you’re 50 and the answer is no, a new timeframe is suddenly in place. I only have so many years left to travel to Greece, Italy, and Australia, or to drive an RV across the United States. I only have so much time to live in New York City or start my own business. But the biggest thing—the thing I imposed my own time limit on, was becoming a Writer and Getting Published. I set a deadline of age 50 to get published and, I didn’t meet my goal. But don’t fret. I’m not leaving things at a potentially depressing point. If life is all about the journey rather than the destination, then at this point I’m just getting more information about the remaining trip. Turning 50 is like stopping at a travel center to check the map and maybe get a cup of coffee. Maybe even some presents.
While we’re on the topic, I think you should be able to register for gifts at Bed Bath & Beyond or Target or Best Buy for your 50th birthday. Registering for gifts is the most decadent, self indulgent, brilliant idea ever devised—so why it is limited to the newly engaged? It’s beyond me why all those little scanner guns are reserved for brides- and grooms-to-be when the real buying power is with the Baby Boomers. Seriously, think about it. Registering for gifts for a 50th birthday party is the best idea since Diet Rite Cola (the first diet soda, also 50).
You’re welcome, fellow Boomers.
Table of Contents
The Year of Living Fifty-ishly 5
The Big Day 9
The C-Word 13
My Education 17
Pets as Children 21
Best-Laid Plans 23
ENS (Empty-Nest Syndrome) 31
When Chickens Come Home 35
Open Heart 39
Found Time 45
Wedding-Belle Bliss 49
The Long and Winding Road 53
Grandmother, Grandma, Granny 57
Why Do Today What I Can Put Off Until Next Year? 61
New Year's Adjustments 65
Auld Lang Syne 73
Happy Thanks Giving 77
And So This Is Christmas 81
All Grown Up
A Real Grown-Up 87
Alone Again, Naturally 91
Well, Shut My Mouth! 101
A Very White Girl 105
Onward Through the Fog 109
Therapy, Maine-Style 113
A Monstrous Regiment of Women 119
The Anti-Tourist 127
4:00 AM 133
Missing Elizabeth 141
Two Hours Later 145
Picture Perfect 149
My Bad (Day) 153
Virtual Fitness 157
Work, Work, Work 159
Fifteen Minutes of Fame 163
Spring Cleaning 167
I Don't Have Much, But I Love What I've Got 171
About the Author 175
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Flip-Flops After 50 is a warm and funny collection of essays about life events. I enjoyed reading about the author’s experiences and could relate them to many of my own. It is well-written in a light, entertaining style.
Reviewed by Trudi LoPreto for Readers' Favorite Flip-Flops After 50: And Other Thoughts on Aging I Remembered to Write Down by Cindy Eastman hits it perfectly in the center of the bull’s-eye. Cindy makes getting old a wonderful adventure that I found myself sharing with her. Each chapter touched a piece of my life too; and I was able to smile, laugh out loud and feel the joy, happiness and sadness of each event. Christmas shopping in New York City brought back wonderful memories of the Rockefeller Center ice skating rink, the excitement of becoming a grandma was described to a tee, thinking I looked great and then later seeing myself in a picture was so exact. I felt like I was at Cindy’s house for each of the holiday celebrations and surely she must have been a fly on the wall at my house. Each chapter tells a story and builds a satisfying life, making it okay to be reaching the Big 50 (surprise party included), becoming an empty nester, and missing the kids, and life going on and on. I really loved reading Flip-Flops After 50. It brought me back to good and bad, happy and sad times in my life with perfect reason. Cindy Eastman has artfully made turning 50 and beyond a good thing and one I realized I was glad to have had the good fortune to be a part of. This is a must-read for every woman soon to be turning 50 and beyond. This can easily be and should be the handbook of the baby boomer generation.
Reading the title, I thought this book would be a funny look at life over 50, but it didn't live up to the title. It is actually a diary that has very dull entries throughout a year. It failed to capture the funny and brilliant parts of one's life during this age.
I loved every page of Cindy Eastman's book FLIP-FLOPS AFTER 50! Her gentle, self-deprecating sense of humor made me smile of some pages, grin widely on other pages and laugh right out loud on still other pages. The essays I loved most were that ones that touched my heart so deeply that, although I still smiled, there were tears in my eyes as I was so deeply moved by the tenderness and honesty expressed perfectly on those pages. If I could give this book more than 5 stars, I would! I intend to give FLIP-FLOPS AFTER 50 as a present to family members and my dearest friends because I know that many of them will not only enjoy reading this book, but will consider it a treasure to be read over and over again. This book has a special place on my bookshelf where I can reach it easily and will read it often.
Flip Flops After 50 by Cindy Eastman is a collection of essays that will make anyone who is anywhere near the magical number smile as they relate to her thoughts and experiences. Her stories provoke retrospection, encourage introspection and entertain every step of the way. Ms. Eastman has a delightful writing style that becomes very familiar as you follow her through her escapades, trials and tribulations. At times, I felt as though I was having a glass of wine with a good friend, catching up on life. It was easy to imagine the two of us laughing together during the humorous parts, hugging when appropriate and, after the last story, bidding adieu until next time. Of course, as one friend who looks forward to seeing the other again, I look forward to Ms. Eastman’s next book.
What a fun and true book this is! Ms. Eastman warms your heart, brings a tear to your eye, and makes you laugh knowingly along with her. Through her essays we get an unwavering glimpse at motherhood, friendship, and life as a "woman of a certain age." Read it and enjoy! This is a great gift for someone approaching the dreaded Big 5-0